Match-fixing ‘ringleader’ caught

Dan Tan Seet Eng, the suspected mastermind of a global match-fixing ring, has been arrested in Singapore.

The 48-year-old businessman, who is wanted in Italy and Hungary, is believed to be among 14 Singaporeans who have been nabbed on suspicion of being part of an organised group of match fixers in an islandwide crackdown.

The 12-hour operation, which ended in the early hours of Tuesday, was led by the Criminal Investigation Department and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), with support from the police.

Officers raided various locations and arrested 12 men and two women, the police and CPIB said in a statement yesterday. 

The authorities confirmed that the suspected ringleader and several others who are being investigated for match-fixing in other countries were among those arrested. 

Five of them, including the suspected leader, are being further detained, the statement added. The remaining nine will be released on police bail.

Tan is suspected of heading a syndicate which has rigged more than 150 matches in countries that include Italy, Hungary, Finland and Nigeria.

He was a central figure in Italy’s “Last Bet” investigation which rocked the country’s football scene two years ago, with a host of big-name players implicated. There is also an arrest warrant out for Tan in Hungary. 

Police attention turned to Tan after a former associate, Wilson Raj Perumal, pointed the finger at him after being arrested in Finland in 2011. 

Perumal, who was sentenced to two years’ jail there, is believed to be now assisting the European police.

In February this year, it was reported that Tan was helping Singapore police with investigations. Soon after, the police and CPIB sent four senior officers to Lyon, France, to help Interpol with its own investigation.

The police and CPIB said yesterday that they appreciated the help from Interpol’s Global Anti-Match-fixing Task Force and would continue to work with the international community to fight match-fixing.